On Friday 8 February 2019, a Federal Court proceeding was commenced by Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd and Songs of Universal, Inc against Mr. Clive Palmer for copyright infringement. The action relates to the United Australia Party’s use of Twisted Sister’s iconic song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” in political advertising.
The lyrics and music were composed by Dee Snider, lead singer of Twisted Sister and released in 1984. It is an original song protected by the Australian Copyright Act 1968.
Simpsons is representing the Universal parties. For clarity, Mr. Dee Snider and other members of the band Twisted Sister are not parties to this litigation.
Adam Simpson and Clare Young previously acted on the Eminem ‘Lose Yourself’ litigation against the National Party of New Zealand.
The High Court of New Zealand found the National Party of New Zealand infringed copyright in Eminem’s hit song Lose Yourself in its 2014 election advertising campaign and ordered significant damages.
Writers and their publishers have the right to choose who uses their songs in advertising. Music can be very powerful. That is part of its value. It’s also why political parties seem to like using hit songs. It creates immediate engagement.
Copies of the Statement of Claim and accompanying Application are publicly available and can be accessed at the Federal Court of Australia.
Chris Fogarty, FMC Change
61 (0) 420 928 824 or Chris@fmcchange.com